Gisele Bundchen: Tom Brady said ‘absolutely not’ to my drug-free home births

gisele fam2

In 2018, Gisele Bundchen published her memoir, and in that book, she detailed how she gave birth to Benjamin and Vivian at home, without drugs, in the bathtub. In her book, she made it sound like she was some kind of icon for going against her doctor’s medical advice and powering through a sixteen-hour labor. In Tom Brady’s new ESPN+ series, Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, they both spoke about how Tom didn’t want Gisele to have a home birth but he ended up appreciating it:

Tom Brady has nothing but special memories from Gisele Bündchen’s home births, but he wasn’t convinced at first. The model was a part of the ESPN+ Man in the Arena: Tom Brady series, and she revealed that Brady told her “absolutely not” when she initially said she wanted to deliver their first child Benjamin at home. After she explained that it’s her body, her choice, the football star asked, “Who has a kid at home in 2000?’” “I do,” the 41-year-old said.

There are many reasons why women choose to give birth at home instead of the hospital, and the first time mom knew it was what she wanted, regardless of Brady’s opinion. “It was a home birth, and it was funny because he didn‘t want me to have a home birth. He was like, ‘Absolutely not,’ and I was like, ‘Excuse me, you don’t get to choose that, it‘s my body.’”

Over the 20th century, home birth declined rapidly with the advent of modern medicine, but women were giving birth in their homes or caves since humans existed. And in the end, Brady called the experience “precious.” “Me being there with G at his birth in our home, it lives in my mind. I think we brought this boy into the world in the most precious way,” he said in the clip.

Bündchen gave birth to both of her children via at home water birth and she explained in her book, “My Path to a Meaningful Life” that she has been wary of hospitals because her twin sister, Pati, developed double pneumonia when they were 10. She even went against doctors advice giving birth to Benjamin at home, “The doctor told me that it was too dangerous for me to have a home birth,” she recalled. “He said that Benny was in an unusual position, my hips were too small, and the odds just weren’t in my favor.”

[From Hola]

As I said years ago, I do believe that every woman has the right to make her own birth choices and if some of y’all want to give birth at home, so be it. I find parts of Gisele’s story very problematic and I always felt this way. One, I do think she’s implicitly and negatively judging women who want to give birth in a hospital, or women who want painkillers. And that’s wrong. Two, I find it worrying that even in Gisele’s own narrative, she’s proud of the fact that she went against medical advice, and that there was real danger for mother and child. Ugh. I kind of wish Tom had fought harder on this issue.

gisele fam1

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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65 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen: Tom Brady said ‘absolutely not’ to my drug-free home births”

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  1. equality says:

    So did her sister get pneumonia at the hospital and that’s why she doesn’t trust them? This story needs more explaining, it doesn’t make sense. She got lucky that things went well and her child wasn’t put at risk. I get that it’s her body but to brag about not discussing it with the father of the child who was actively involved and to ignore medical advice doesn’t sound as impressive as she must think.

    • TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

      Especially when that father is an elite athlete who also has a good understanding of pain, risks, and the human body. I am not a Brady fan, but the man is the GOAT and part of the reason is because he is deeply dedicated to maintaining his body. This isn’t an ignorant rube.

      • Lucy says:

        Brady has no idea about childbirth pain. He’s dedicated to his own body, that gives him very little credibility on a woman’s body.

        Women’s healthcare, especially maternal healthcare, is deeply paternalistic and damaging to women. It infantalizes women and robs them of choices, especially in birth. (Example – doctors or nurses telling you what positions you are allowed to labor in) I’m all for a home birth, assuming there was actual medical support personnel there. Giving birth in your tub with no support is one thing, having a team come to you in your house is another (I don’t know which she did, I care about birth, not reading their books :).

        Anyway. Team women make their own informed decisions about birth choices.

      • JanetDR says:

        @Lucy Exactly! 💗

      • Sue says:

        @Lucy – my hospital was pro women and pro giving birth in whatever position worked best for you. Hopefully more hospitals start to follow suit. I for one chose a c section because I had been through enough with IVF and my doctor was completely supportive. I wish this level of respect for all moms.

    • Barrett says:

      She is problematic, if I feel like having a few moments in la la land read her interviews.

      I do have to say his son with BRIDGET MONIHAN is BEAUTIFUL. That COLORING

      • whatWHAT? says:

        which one is Bridget’s? the one that looks EXACTLY like him?

      • SpankyB says:

        I completely forgot about Bridget being the mom, and I agree, that child is gorgeous. He got the best of both parents looks-wise.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        He is one good looking kid! Looks a lot like mom in the first pic.

        And he’s the dark haired one in the middle of the top pic.

      • Vet says:

        Bridgets son is so handsome, from my reading he is the athletic one. This is another reason that I am not a fan of hers. His older son is really into sports, and Gisele isalways giving interviews saying she is not letting him play sports. Lady he has a mother, stay in your lane.

      • FYFO says:

        The boys have the SAME coloring. He looks good in that first pic, but there’s nothing special about him. The girl is so cute. Those 3 children are very athletic, but they DON’T want to play football. They are supporting their children and they think the children should decide..

  2. MY3CENTS says:

    For someone projecting the whole “perfect mommy/better than you” I didn’t expect to see so much of her kids on her social media.
    Also her face looks a bit different.

  3. Watson says:

    Was it dumb to go against medical advice? Hell yes. But as she said she had a fear of drs and hospitals which led to her decision making. The fact that she had a positive experience reinforced her decision.

    Here in Canada many women have home births, monitored by midwives. The moment things look dangerous you are sent to the hospital and get an obgyn. Maybe she had this sort of catch all approach to childbirth which is why Tom agreed.

    • LightPurple says:

      They did; the backup plan was discussed locally at the time. Their home was also just blocks away from Massachusetts General Hospital and within 2 miles of 3 other major hospitals. She would have been in a hospital within just a few minutes if anything had gone wrong.

      • Desical says:

        I would be fine with the people who elect home births and birthing centers if they would only accept the consequences of their decisions when there is a bad outcome. As it is, I have seen multiple cases where the parents decide to blame the midwife. Also, you only have a few minutes before permanent damage starts. LOL at those of you who think even Tom Brady was gonna run with a newborn in respiratory distress to a hospital and get it intubated in under 5 minutes.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “Also, you only have a few minutes before permanent damage starts.”

        yeah, that’s what I was thinking. they may only be “a few minutes” from a hospital, but in that few minutes, the baby could wind up with permanent health issues or, worse yet, dead.

        her body, her choice, of course…but my choice would not be the same as hers.

    • ML says:

      When I first moved to the NL, about 50% of women intended to have home births, and due to a strong midwife culture since the 1600s, society was/ is set up that way. I personally tried it, but had complications and was sent to the hospital. The tone of this article is fairly insufferable though.

  4. Bryn says:

    I hear the hips too small issue alot with women giving birth. The doctor told me that and tried to pressure me for days into a c section..I refused, I at least wanted to try labour and delivery. 12 hours later I gave birth vaginally to a healthy babu, minimal tearing and was fully recovered 4 weeks later. Some doctors can be too quick to push c section.

    • Theresa says:

      Doctors like to say hips too small, they don’t take into account that a woman’s body is meant to “readjust” itself to accommodate the birth of a child. They push c-section so hospital gets more money.

  5. Sam the Pink says:

    Sounds like she just didn’t want to hear him. I originally looked into homebirth with my first, because I was concerned that, as Christian Scientist, that a hospital setting might not respect my religious viewpoint or desires. My husband just sat down with me and basically said “I love you, I see what you want to do, but I am afraid that if something happened, I could lose you and the baby. Can we work this out some way that satisfied both of us?” And we found a happy medium – a birth center where the midwives were happy to work with us and let us create a birth we wanted, but had the means to get us medical attention if necessary. I understand the desire to have the “perfect” experience at birth, but the father and baby matter too – and it sounds like that was not on her radar.

  6. Gippy says:

    Ugh. I do not support home births. At All. Especially against a dr advice. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Hospitals have water birthing tub now, much larger than what you’d have at home & cleaner too. If you’re that insistent – do it at a birthing center connected to a hospital. You can still have the ambiance, drug free & monitor free water birth with all the candles you want, but be close in case things go south. Modern medicine is there for a reason, birthing persons & babies have died in child birth, it’s pure selfishness to risk that for your ambiance or comfort reasons.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      I get your point, but it is highly dismissive to wave off legitimate concerns about hospitals ad how they treat pregnancy that drive many mothers to choose homebirth. Many homebirthers have had babies in hospitals and were treated so terribly that they refuse to return. I used to work in a medical malpratctice firm and I could tell you stories that would raise your hair. I met women who were sexually assaulted by hospital staff, who had their medical concerns dismissed outright, who had their very strong religious/cultural beliefs violated repeatedly, etc. You sound intensely blase about a very complex, serious topic. The fact that Giselle seemed more committed to her own experience is not cause to be dismissive across the board.

      • josephine says:

        Women absolutely need to be respected in their medical decision-making and deserve authority in making birth decisions. That should be the focus across the board, not just in birthing decisions. Women are more likely to be ignored when reporting certain symptoms, and more likely to be disbelieved when in pain.

        What I don’t like is the extreme pushiness of an industry that was built up around homebirths, promising women, for example, that home births are just as safe. Those statistics are not kept so no one can promise that. It became very “hip” to have a home birth and seems to be a dilemma only for very wealthy women or for women who want to adopt a fully “natural” lifestyle. There is entirely too much judgment on both sides, including plenty from the “natural” birthers. So both sides are preaching to women, and it’s gross.

        After debating it for a little bit, my personal bottom line was this — being in a hospital gives my baby the best chance if things are not going well. My comfort is important, but frankly, secondary. After two easy, quick, drug-free and happy deliveries, I am forever grateful to have had an emergency c-section that saved my third child’s life. But even still, I’d like women to have information, not preachiness when it comes to birthing choices. And that information is still lacking on the home-birthing side of things.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Home birth absolutely comes with risks – if you bleed out, there is no help for you, for example. Part of the problem why home births are more dangerous in the US, though, is because home birth is not integrated into the healthcare system like it is in other countries. In many parts of Europe, a woman electing for a homebirth is provided with a nurse-midwife (the most professional, best trained variety of midwife) and her care is fully integrated with a doctor or hospital nearby. That makes it much safer. In the US, most nurse-midwives are barred by insurance from attending homebirths, so women are left to seek out “lay midwives” who may be competent (but might not be). Some doctors will not work with or provide care to women who want homebirths. There is a big gulf between the medical birth world and the homebirth world, and that just harms women. If people really cared, they would support women in what they want and work to make all births safer, regardless of where they take place.

    • Ania says:

      Me too. Show me doctor’s wife giving birth at home and I’ll believe it’s safe. My husband is one and not in a million years would he agree to home birth – you never know what happens and when it happens the shit hits the fan in seconds. Unless you live in a hospital you can’t get help quickly enough, sometimes running to the operating theater is too long. There are other options if you wish to minimize medical interventions. People forget that pregnancy and birth, despite being common and natural can involve a lot of complications. Good experience is not worth risking your baby’s life and health even in 1%. That said, it’s nice to not know what can happen or be directly involved in managing emergency during birth- that really helps to not be afraid and act all righteous.

      • MaryContrary says:

        Same-husband is a doctor and was adamant. I delivered my kids in the hospital with a midwife, a doula and no pain meds. One of my kids (after a routine pregnancy and easy L & D) needed to immediately be seen by a specialist and sent to the NICU. I was incredibly thankful to be at a hospital. You just never know.

      • Harper says:

        I don’t understand how pregnant women can go nine months watching their diets and not drinking, doing pregnancy exercises, having ultrasounds and tests to see if the baby is doing well, buying all organic this and that, but then at THE moment of birth, decide that if something goes wrong, they are okay with losing valuable time having to call an ambulance and wait for it to arrive, and then lose more valuable time getting to the hospital and getting into the OR if you need it. If you hate the hospital so much then push out the baby and leave immediately, but know that you safeguarded your infant’s life or your own life during a natural, but unpredictable event.

      • Snark says:

        Yup, and even though childbirth is part of human biology, it was the number one cause of death for women for most of human history! Like with vaccines, we’ve been spoiled by the success of modern medicine and don’t see the horrific consequences of the lack of adequate medical care.

    • Kate says:

      Would be nice if birthing centers connected to hospitals were as available as you seem to believe.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, we have one like this in my area – its literally connected to the hospital – I had a friend who wanted to go med free, intervention free, and she wanted to deliver there and it did not go well, and she had to be taken to the hospital for an emergency c-section. Had she been at home, the outcome could have been bad. But there, they just wheeled her down the hall and up the elevator.

        I do think so much of the home birth movement is because women don’t feel listened to or respected at hospitals, they feel pressured to get an epidural, they feel pressured into c-sections, etc. I did not experience any of that (I mean I got an epidural ASAP because holy hell labor hurts, lol, and I did have a csection but it was 100% my choice). I also live in an area with a lot of hospitals and OB practices, so if you hear that one practice or hospital has a very high c-section rate, then maybe you look for another one. I have several friends who went med free in hospitals and said they were never once pressured to have any meds or anything, but that’s not true across the board.

        All that to say – I never ever wanted a home birth, but I know some people feel more strongly about it than others. I am assuming that Giselle still had several midwives there.

      • A says:

        @Becks1, I’d agree with you on why so many women do go for home births, but the problem is, a significant segment of the population of people who go for home births are the people who are least likely to face the worst outcomes from hospitals, i.e. white women overwhelmingly. These are also the same people who are likely most able to afford the luxury of a home birth, particularly if or when things go wrong. They’re able to get themselves to a hospital, or deal with the medical complications after, etc. Many women in America don’t get those options.

        There’s also something to be said about how the same options that privileged women in many parts of the world get, such as having a home birth, are seen as backwards and barbaric when it’s women of a lower socioeconomic status who are doing the same. So there’s a lot to be said here about inequality across the board, and I do think people need to be careful in how they discuss these matters. Gisele, in general, has a not great history of having these conversations in the past, so I imagine a lot of peoples’ irritation of her comes from that.

  7. Noki says:

    For her babies she will ignore medical advice but has no problem flying across the world for cosmetic surgery!?

  8. Chaine says:

    Omg their daughter is Gisele’s mini-me for sure!

  9. Merricat says:

    I would never put my baby in danger, and certainly not to satisfy my desire to have a home birth.

  10. Jegede says:

    Brady’s concern could also have been as a father.
    Yes, it’s her body, but it’s also their child.

    As someone whose career is risk for all sorts of health questions, it’s perfectly normal that Brady had apprehensions towards a home birth and any likely complications.

    Kinda sad how Gisele’s rection was it’s my body, and………….that’s all.😕

  11. girl_ninja says:

    She is such an arrogant and ridiculous woman. Every time she says something I am left rolling my eyes over and over. She also needs to realize that she as a wealthy white woman has advantages that other women do not. I trust science and hospitals and as a black woman and given our history with the medical community I probably shouldn’t! I just think we could do without Giselle speaking and judging everyone around her.

    An the title of that book…ughhhh.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, it’s tiresome. But I wonder what her early experiences with hospitals in Brazil were like. I know from my own perspective as a child in Greece, that basically, unless you were rich, hospitals used to be where you went to die. Now, of course, it’s different – and I live in the US, in an area with great medical care, but my BP still goes up when I walk into a hospital.

  12. Eurydice says:

    I wouldn’t assume that Tom didn’t push back more. They’re both superstars in their respective fields and very determined people – so, I don’t think the discussion went as simply and easily as she’s putting it. And where they were living at the time is very close to a complex of major hospitals.

    • LightPurple says:

      He could have pushed that bathtub to MGH, they were that close, just across the Common from Tufts, and a mile and a half from Beth Israel Lahey and B&W. Most of us aren’t that close to any hospital, never mind four of the world’s best.

      • Eurydice says:

        Exactly, I live in the same area – it’s hospitals as far as the eye can see.

      • Keen Kate says:

        Seconds count. It doesn’t matter if there was a hospital in each direction, 5 minute walk away. I can’t believe this woman. The amount of stupid things that constantly come out of her mouth. All this because her sister might have caught an illness in a poor small hospital in 1980s Brazil. Ridiculous!!

  13. girl_ninja says:

    By the way Tom’s oldest son John that he had with Bridget Moynahan is so handsome. All of the kids are cute but John is gorgeous. With his dark hair I think he favors his mother more.

  14. Viktoria says:

    So over this privileged plastic fantastic bimbo….that’s all I got! UGH…


    I really did wince at “it was funny because.” Why is it funny that her husband had a different viewpoint and she “got her way”? Life is about compromise and everyone can’t always get what they want. But you’d better believe I’d be furious if my husband’s attitude was “it was funny” when his preference won out over mine on serious life events. It sounds like she doesn’t take things very seriously, whether it’s her husband’s opinion or medical advice.

    • Jules says:

      I mean, English is not her first language. And it’s a phrase commonly used to infer irony. I’m not a Gisele fan but this was a 5 second clip of her talking and a lot of over interpreting.

  16. Jaded says:

    A friend of mine insisted on a home birth, it was her third child and she thought she had it down pat. The baby was dead by the time it was born. If she’d been in hospital she would have had an emergency c-section. Giselle, as per usual, seems to love mommy-shaming over everything – she’s insufferable.

  17. Marigold says:

    I absolutely hate her. I’ve know someone whose baby DIED in their home birth. And others who would have died themselves at home.

  18. Brubs says:

    I know she’s rich and that’s unlikely to happen to her, but many many women suffer incredible violence when giving birth and it creates this trauma that makes a lot of people afraid of having children in a hospital. She’s from Brazil, i’m from Brazil and in here even though there are incredible doctors there is also a lot of obstetric violence and this is ONE of the reasons why there are so many c-sections here

    My sister in law gave birth very young (17 years old) and when she was in labor the nurse screamed at her “COME ON, WHEN YOU WERE MAKING THE BABY YOU ENJOYED RIGHT?” so she would push harder
    for her second child she chose a c-section

    so I can’t really blame Gisele for choosing a natural home birth

    • Eurydice says:

      Yes, thank you. I think people are making a lot of assumptions that attitudes and experiences are the same in other countries as they are here in the US.

  19. A says:

    “Who has a kid at home in 2000?’” I’m SCREAMING, I can’t wait to tell my grandma that she has something in common with Tom Brady, bc she says the exact same thing any time she hears someone in this day and age had a baby at home.

    Back in her day, giving birth in a hospital was a luxury, and if you could, you jumped at the chance, bc everyone knew the prospects for survival were better. Ofc, now we have more data that states that the outcomes are not the same for everyone across the board, and that certain segments of the population are treated incredibly poorly in hospitals, particularly if they are expecting mothers. But even now, in many parts of the world, hospitals are a luxury and represent a safety that people wish they could have. The only reason someone like Gisele Bundchen could give birth at home safely is bc she knew she could get to a hospital in time if she had complications. So for her to act like she did some big thing when she had such a huge safety net is just stupid lmao.

    But damn. I never thought I’d agree w/ Tom Brady on anything. But here were are.

    • Ania says:

      Giselle could afford THE BEST midviwes and mediac help available. She probably had all medical equipment that could be used outside hospital ready just in case. She’s rich white and popular and in case of anything she had milion SUVs ready to get her to hospital. It still could not be fast enough but her priviledge here is obvious.

      She didn’t make this choice because she feared her wishes would not be respected in hospital, she was not a random patient. I understand women wishes to avoid hospitals for this reason – I chose elective csection because I could not ensure my trusted doctor would be present at birth and situation in my country is far from good when it comes to labour. But Giselle did it for „experience” and bragging rights, considering how many times we heard about it.

      Secondly, she brags about ignoring her husband’s concerns? It’s his baby and she’s his wife, he had a right to be scared for them. I know „my body my choice” – sure, but if my hubby wanted to take unnecessary risks for his life and possibly leave us without father and husband I would be able to voice my concerns!

      She is insufferable.

  20. A.R says:

    My C-Section was THE BEST. 10/10 Would recommend.

  21. Ann says:

    My father was born at home, as were both his parents. But that was a long time ago. Childbirth is risky. I can’t understand not choosing to avail yourself of modern medicine when giving birth. It is just not worth it. I wouldn’t say my experience at the hospital was ideal when I had my two kids, but my objective was for me to leave the hospital healthy with a healthy baby, and I got that, and that’s what mattered.

    My own daughter is a doula and planning to become a midwife, but has no plans to push home birth on women. She’s already had to talk one client into listening to her birth team who were telling her to have a C Section, because her labor had been long and things were getting too complicated.

  22. Veronica S. says:

    Yeah, she had a “home” birth, for which I’m sure she had several paid, trained medical staff on hand in case something went wrong. 😂 Come on, y’all. Surely, we are not going to pretend she did this alone in her bathroom.

    God, they must be insufferable in person. Everything just has to be BEYOND everybody around them.

    • Ann says:

      Ding, ding, ding! I was privy to her birth plans (long story, one for cocktail parties) and she had an entire medical team at her disposal in her home during labor. All necessary life-saving equipment in her home for both her and the baby, an escorted ambulance waiting outside, as well as a dedicated set of rooms and operating room (with medical team) on standby at the hospital.

      So yes, she did deliver at home, but this was not the “home birth” that most are imagining. It was one of immense privilege afforded only to those of the supermodel/professional athlete/elite power couples of the world.

  23. Jess says:

    The US has the highest maternal mortality death rate in the developed world and a large part of the problem is the way US doctors approach labor and delivery. I gave birth with midwives at a birthing center because I specifically don’t trust US doctors’ approach to pregnancy. There’s a great book – a guide to better births – that lays out, with supporting evidence, all the problems with the way US doctors handle pregnancy.

  24. Steph says:

    First, all home births are against medical advice. No dr is going to tell you “yes, that sounds like a great idea!” However, I think she is up playing how dangerous it was. I’ve met her. Her bone structure is huge. Her hips are probably wider than my arms length. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman with wider hips that have nothing to do with meat, all bone. No way her hips were too small.

  25. Likeyoucare says:

    I dont blame her because she stupid and vapid.
    But i do blame people who look up on her and believe whatever she said.

    She is rich, in perfect health, she has all the help within reach.
    Measure your own abilitity, risk and money. How far and how much money you have to spend if anything bad happen during the birth.

  26. diana says:

    You know I’m gonna defend Gisele here. She probably had the best Dr’s/Midwives on standby. As well as top of the line equipment and an ambulance standing by in case something went wrong. So I doubt her and the baby were really in any danger. I also wouldn’t be surprised if more woman choose to give at home now because of Covid.

    I also agree with her in regards to the C-section as well. What Dr recommends a C-section in the 4th month? Do you know how much a baby moves around? My little guy was actually breech 5 or 6 weeks before I was due to give birth. I was afraid that I was going to have a have a C-section. Fortunately he got in the right position a few weeks later and I was able to have a natural birth. Anyway in my opinion DR’s can be a little to C-section happy sometimes.

  27. Zaylina says:

    It’s absurd and narcissistic for anyone to think that their own feelings know more than a doctor with years of education and experience in their field. Gisele was very lucky nothing went wrong. You can’t control luck. When something does go wrong, you need people who know what they’re doing.

    She seems perfectly fine with hospitals for her plastic surgery so putting her kids at risk for a home birth is just for ego and bragging rights.